Electricity is the backbone of many modern buildings, but improper handling and application can have dangerous consequences. Having an electrical engineer on the project management team helps ensure the safety of construction projects. A professionally-designed electrical system not only delivers correct power output and adequate voltage for each device, but also provides protection against electrical faults.
Common Types of Electrical Faults
An electrical engineer is able to recognize potential electrical faults and lay down preventive measures for the whole facility. Here are common types of electrical faults that construction projects have to be protected against:
- Ground faults – happens when a live conductor gets into contact with a surface or object that is a part of the circuit
- Arc fault – happens when electrical discharge goes through the air
- Line-to-line fault – occurs when different-voltage live conductors touch each other
- Overload – happens when an electric device receives more current than its correct value
- Under-voltage – result of the power system delivering supply voltage less than what the connected devices require
- Voltage imbalance – uneven voltage distribution among devices
Without an electrical engineer, these issues may go unnoticed while the building is under construction. When they start manifesting once the building is in use, it can result to serious electrical hazards, expensive repairs, and can negatively impact the plumbing and mechanical engineering aspects of the facility.
Preventing Faults with Electrical Engineers
With so much on the line, it is crucial to prevent all of these electrical problems as early as the design phase of the project. These are some ways that a certified electric engineer can help ensure a safer building:
- Laying down the specifics of wiring sizes to ensure that they are capable of handling the expected amount of current
- Specifying arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) and ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) to reduce the risk of arc faults and ground faults
- Select high-quality, long-lasting equipment that can adequately handle the electrical load of the building
- Selecting the right capacity and size of electrical devices
- Verifying the integrity and safety of electrical connections
- Achieve optimal capacity for wiring and circuit breakers
- Designing an electrical system that works in tandem with the plumbing and mechanical engineering components of the structure
- Simplifying the design documents for easier diagnosis and maintenance
- Providing an energy-efficient design that conserves electricity without sacrificing performance
On top of this, electrical engineers can help construction projects satisfy laws and regulations that govern the electrical elements of structures.
MEP Engineers are Crucial to Successful Project Management
A well-designed electrical installation is a safe one. Electrical engineers have the experience and skills necessary to perform a detailed analysis of potential fault conditions, electrical loads, protection devices, and suitable conductors to ensure the safety of the both the building and its future occupants.
Finally, professional electrical engineers also ensure quick project approval through precise code compliance. Together, Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) engineers help construction teams pull off cost-effective and efficient structures right from the beginning of the project.